Mother had just bought gun
Police: Highlands Ranch mom and two boys died from gunshot wounds.
lone tree» The Highlands Ranch mother and her two sons found dead Wednesday morning in a minivan parked in the secluded loading dock area of a closed Sports Authority store died of gunshot wounds, authorities announced Thursday.
Jennifer Marie Laber, 36, and her two sons — 3-year-old Adam and 5-year-old Ethan — were each shot one time, Lone Tree police spokesman Sgt. Tim Beals said.
Beals said Laber legally purchased a Glock 9mm handgun at a local store about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday before going to pick up her son earlier than the dismissal time from kindergarten roughly an hour later.
She died of a suspected self-inflicted gunshot wound and the gun was found in the minivan.
Police stopped short of calling the case a murder-suicide, but Beals said there are no suspects and investigators have provided no other explanation for how the three died.
“We’re just not ready to put that label on it yet,” Beals told reporters at a news briefing Thursday.
The Douglas County Coroner’s Office has not ruled on the manner of Adam’s and Ethan’s deaths, saying the decision is pending further investigation. Authorities also did not definitively say the Glock handgun Laber bought Tuesday was used in the shooting deaths of the three, however, investigators did not say there was another weapon found at the scene.
“In these situations, it is so critical that we have every piece of evidence we can find,” said Jill Romann, the Douglas County coroner. “We just haven’t had all of that evidence presented yet.”
An investigation into the deaths remains ongoing, and Beals said “anything that possibly led up to this are things we are certainly looking into.”
Colorado, unlike a handful of other states, does not have a mandatory waiting period from when a gun is bought to when it is transferred to the purchaser.
The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence says California, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois and Rhode Island have a mandatory wait time for all gun purchases. Other states — including Florida and New Jersey — have mandatory wait times specifically for handgun purchases, according to the center.
Laber and her sons were last spotted about 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday leaving Bear Canyon Elementary, driving away in the 2011 Town & Country minivan in which they all later were found.
Laber’s husband, Ryan, who is the father of the children, filed a missing-persons report at about 8 p.m. Tuesday.
A passer-by called police at 7:47 a.m. on Wednesday after spotting Laber’s minivan outside of the Sports Authority store near the intersection of County Line Road and Quebec, Beals said. It was not clear how long the minivan had been parked there.
If you need help
If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal, immediately call 844-493TALK (8255), which is the Colorado Crisis and Support Line. Nationally, you may call 800-273-TALK (8255). Both hotlines are staffed around the clock with certified mental health professionals.